Genelec Speakers Put Pacific Wave Media on Equal Footing with Hollywood’s Biggest Sound Stages
The entertainment media world is adapting: content today will be distributed through a growing range of channels including traditional cinema and broadcast television as well as streaming and on VOD. This has created new opportunities for small- and mid-sized post-production companies, but it has also meant that they have to be able to create audio for this content that can compete with Hollywood’s big guns and be able to accommodate the new broader range of distribution modes. Two decades using active monitoring from Genelec, the leader in active monitoring technology for over 35 years, has enabled Pacific Wave Media, a full-service, state-of-the-art audio post-production company, to accomplish just that. The company’s three audio suites — two at its Los Angeles office, located next to Universal Studios, using a 1029 5.1 system and a 6010 stereo system; and one at Founder/CEO and Lead Mixer Mike Forslund’s home studio, using a recently acquired 8330/7350 5.1 system — have done countless projects for Discovery Channel, A&E Biography, FX Networks and The History Channel, the film A Perfect Storm, as well as a mix for director Richard Zelniker’s As Night Comes, which was mixed on the 1029 system and then was recently screened for distributors in the Zanuck Theater and The Little Theater, both on FOX’s studio lot.
“I’ve been using ‘Gennies’ for 17 years now,” says Forslund, using an affectionate term for the Genelec speakers that are used in all of his mixing environments. “They are an accurate representation of what the world is, and I need that these days.” Talking about one of the most successful of the current crop of reality-television shows, Swamp People, whose forthcoming sixth season Forslund is about to mix, he notes that the show’s dense, effects-laden soundtrack requires a lot of nuance, something he says is characteristic of all of the Genelec monitors he uses. “We’re talking about 130 to a 140 tracks altogether, so it’s huge,” he says. “My sound designer, Erica Camp, do the full prelay of a show then post it to our server, and I’ll mix the entire show at my house on the 8330/7350 5.1 system, then put it on a drive and take it to my office and review it for the network’s executives on the 1029s. What I hear at home is exactly what they hear in my office. They play flat from room to room.”
The Genelec monitors also assure Forslund the fidelity of his mixes whether they’re played through a home theater’s 5.1 system, a typical television’s own small speakers, or a pair of earbuds. “These days people are watching shows on iPhones and iPad,” he says. “The sound has to be accurate on all of these platforms. And with Genelec, it is.”
In fact, his mixes for As Night Comes, which he mixed on his Genelec 1029 monitors, were transferred to the Zanuck Theater’s soundstage on the FOX Studios lot — the same studio that mixed Academy Award-winner Avatar — and the mix lost nothing in translation. “The kind of accuracy and detail that all the Genelec speakers offer actually gives me parity with the leading film soundstages in town,” he says. “That makes a huge difference for a company like mine. Genelec takes us up a level.”